We’ve been fortunate enough to have a good play with the Samsung Galaxy S2 (II) this last four-day weekend, and we must say, with the great weather we’ve had, we’re glad that Super AMOLED plus screen is there.
Sadly we’re all back in work, but we’re also back with our camera equipment, and it’s time to show what else arrives in the box, yes, it’s Springtime What’s In The Box.
As we got into the packet, the went straight for the handset, and yes, it’s unbelievably light in the hand. We currently have another dual-core phone, the LG Optimus 2X, in the office too, and it feels bulky in comparison. In fact, every other phone in the office does.
Somehow they’ve crammed a whole lot into a phone that’s thinner and lighter than its predecessor, the Galaxy S.
It’s also deservedly got a restyle, and looks more like the premium product its price demands. It’s so far the fastest dual-core phone we’ve had to date, with dual 1.2 GHz processors, and we look forward to seeing how that translates to speedier app functions and web browsing.
Alongside that bleeding edge power is the very latest version of Android, Gingerbread 2.3, and both front and rear-facing cameras, eight and two-megapixel respectively. The rear-facing camera has a flash and promises to record full high-definition video. Our model comes with 16GB built-in, but this can be expanded up to an additional 32GB by microSD card.
We were also impressed with the phone’s minimalist looks; with a single physical, perhaps lawsuit baiting, ‘home button’, nestled alongside two Android buttons below the screen, volume and screen-lock on each side, and only a microUSB and headphone socket. It’s all rather smooth and uncluttered.
Click on the arrows for more close-up pictures of the Galaxy S2 and our first impressions.
Here’s what we found alongside the Galaxy S2. From the left; in-ear headphones/ hands-free set, earphone buds, the phone, AC power adapter, USB cable.
We love how tiny the mains charger is- it’s like the accessories were guilted into slimming down to match the Galaxy S2.
Oh, and a USB cable. Not that you’ll need it much; the Galaxy S2 can wirelessly sync with PCs, with Samsung’s own Kies software. It’s pretty clever, and all you’ll need to sync is a web browser on your PC.
In-ear headphone buds come packaged with the Galaxy S2, with extra buds in sizes small to large.
It also acts as a hands-free headset and an FM radio antenna. You won’t be able to use the FM radio function without headphones, though other sets work just as well.
The Galaxy S2’s 4.3-inch screen uses Samsung’s Super AMOLED plus technology, and it is certainly eye-catching.
Below that the physical main button is joined by two Android buttons that glow when touched; back and menu. They do exactly what they say they will.
The front camera is a two-megapixel, the high-end of front-facing cameras, but you’ll want to use the rear-facing camera, an eight-megapixel beast, for most of your mobile photography needs.
Two vague dots to the right of the camera act as ambient light sensors, to adjust the brightness of the screen to suit lighting conditions.
On the side, you’ll find the volume rocker; turn it down to zero and the phone goes into vibration mode. Above that, there’s a small loop to hang your phone charms on; one of those Big In Japan (Korea?) features.
The power switch here also acts as a screen lock, similar to Samsung’s Omnia 7. It’s the perfect place for it- right next to where your thumb typically rests.
Hold it down, and you can choose to switch the phone off, set it to silent and even enable flight mode.
The microUSB port found at th bottom of the Galaxy S2 is also compatible with MHL, meaning, if you have the right cable (not in-box) you can connect the phone through HDMI to your HDTV or PC. No HDMI port necessary.
On the back, there’s the eight-megapixel camera, with LED flash. This one’s also capable of full HD (1080p) video recording.
The back has a textured feel, whith helps hold onto the thin frame. At the bottom, there’s the phone’s loudspeaker.
Once taken off the phone, we we’re surprised how flimsy and light the backing was. It still feels pretty solid and substantial once latched back onto the Galaxy S2.
Inside, there’s a 1650 mAh battery- we hope that’ll have enough juice to power through a day of rigorous use, given that luscious 4.3 inch screen and dual-core power chugging inside.
The Galaxy S2 screen dwarfs the iPhone 3G next to it. Our iPhone 4 was out of the office today, but the screens appear very similar to our eyes. Looking at their profile though…
Look at that! The iPhone looks tubby in comparison. We searched through the Recombu cupboards, drawers and pockets to find a phone to rival slimness of the Galaxy S2, and in the end…
We found one that (barely) beats it. It’s the return of Motorola’s F3 Fone.
But their specifications obviously, ahem, differ a fair bit.
Since taking these pictures, we’ve spent several days with the Samsung Galaxy S2 and hope to bring you the full review very soon. Could this be the new king of the Android phones?